Federal Funding for Women’s Health Services in Texas Restored
By David Doolittle

AIM_May

Texas will again receive matching federal funds for women’s health services through a Medicaid 1115 waiver Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday.

Under the agreement, Texas will receive about $350 million from Washington over the next five years to cover the vast majority of costs for its Healthy Texas Women (HTW) program.

Healthy Texas Women offers family planning and health services to low- and middle-income women. Services include family planning, breast and cervical screenings, well-women exams, and screening and limited treatment for postpartum depression, hypertension, cholesterol, and diabetes. The benefit package will not change under the waiver.

The deal announced Wednesday would shift the majority of costs to cover those services to the federal government: $69 million annually from federal Medicaid dollars and $20 million per year in state matching funds. Since 2013, funding for the program has come exclusively from the state’s general revenue fund, which is supported by sales and use taxes.

Prior to that year, Texas and the federal government shared the costs.

But state officials terminated that agreement over a dispute with the Obama Administration over whether it could exclude Planned Parenthood and affiliated clinics from the Healthy Texas Women network. The new waiver allows Texas to continue to exclude those clinics from HTW.

”The Texas Medical Association strongly supports the Healthy Texas Women program, and we will urge lawmakers to invest the savings achieved through this federal waiver to provide more and better health care to low-income women,” said TMA President David C. Fleeger, MD.

To qualify for HTW, women must be:

  • 18 to 44 years old;
  • U.S. citizens or qualified immigrants;
  • Texas residents;
  • Not currently pregnant;
  • Not covered by Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicare Part A or B, or other creditable health coverage; and
  • Have a net family income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.

Healthy Texas Women served approximately 173,000 women in 2018, the most recent year data is available, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission said.

 

Last Updated On

January 24, 2020

Originally Published On

January 24, 2020

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Medicaid | Womens Health

David Doolittle

Editor

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Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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